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Healthcare Stocks Buzz; Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTNP)

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTNP), a specialty pharmaceutical company developing proprietary therapeutics for the treatment of select chronic diseases utilizing its ProNeura™ long-term, continuous drug delivery technology, declared recently that it has reached a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to evaluate the development of ProNeura-based implants for a long-term regimen in the prevention of malaria.
“The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has been involved with testing virtually every drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for protection against malaria, and we are excited to be collaborating with the organization on this important endeavor,” said Titan President and CEO Sunil Bhonsle. “ProNeura’s ability to provide long-term, continuous drug delivery could represent an important advance over current approved daily dosed antimalarial products.”
Initial non-clinical studies have demonstrated preliminary proof-of-concept and the results were recently presented by the Experimental Therapeutics (ET) branch of WRAIR at the 2017 Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange (APMHE) in Singapore. ProNeura implants containing piperaquine, an effective compound against blood stage parasites, were formulated at SwRI and tested at WRAIR in a mouse model infected with Plasmodium berghei, to characterize the pharmacokinetic (PK) release profile and long-term prophylactic efficacy. Piperaquine implants demonstrated sustained drug release for 6 weeks of PK analysis, and exhibited sufficient suppression of early blood stage malaria in infected mice, as assessed by IVIS (In Vivo Imaging System). Furthermore, complete protection from infection with Plasmodium berghei parasites was demonstrated for up to 8 weeks post-implantation in mice. In addition, the sustained release of other antimalarial drugs, atovaquone and doxycycline, were demonstrated in vivo with their respective ProNeura-based implants.
There is an important need for a reliable long-term regimen for the prevention of malaria in resource-constrained environments. The development of long-acting implants could greatly improve compliance with a reliable treatment regimen, potentially allowing ground combat forces to maneuver and perform in an uninterrupted manner. The preliminary findings of the study allow WRAIR to pursue additional studies with long-acting ProNeura implants that include FDA-approved anti-malarial drugs.
“We look forward to a constructive research partnershipwith Titan Pharmaceuticals and Southwest Research Institute on sustained-release antimalarial implants,” said Lt. Col. Mara Kreishman-Deitrick, PhD, director of ET at WRAIR.

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